Beck: The NBA and the union are nearing a Bird rights settlement.

I'm just gonna keep using this photo. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

This isn't the final result, but it is a strong suggestion of where the appeal stuff is headed from our (old) friend Howard Beck:

The most likely outcome is that Lin and three other players — including the KnicksSteve Novak — will retain some form of Bird rights, as affirmed last week by an arbitrator, according to one of the people briefed on the talks. But the talks were continuing Thursday, and the details of a settlement remained in flux.

Hopefully, the "some form" of Bird rights isn't a lesser form than the form they were granted from the outset (I'm not even really sure what I'm saying. I just want Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak back, and then I want more new Knicks. Also, Steve should be entitled to a ratite if he desires a ratite). Beck reports that the settlement would be completed and revealed no later than Saturday night. That would be ideal, because the Knicks could then head into free agency (which begins at midnight on Sunday) with a clear idea of their assets. This isn't done just yet-- Beck warns us of that-- but it's looking good. At the very least, things should be figured out in time for the start of free agency, which is crucial.

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